Thursday, March 08, 2007

Notes from a Spa-holic

I'm a certified spa-holic.

Every Friday from hereon, expect a spa review or a wellness treatment or product to appear on this page. This is a "pledge" I've made to myself to keep my sanity - to better take care of myself and indulge in the things I love at least once a week.

If there is one luxury I like to indulge in, it is both the thrill and the comfort that an hour (or more) at the spa can bring. I don't want to think of it as an indulgence but rather an essential to helping maintain my well-being. For some women shopping for clothes or jewelry does the trick, for others it's cooking, I'd rather spend time resting my mind and body while someone kneads my woes away.

It really doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Spa treatments run the breadth of 350 pesos for a relaxing foot reflexology treatment to a high of 4500 for a package (scrub, massage and facial) at a high-end spa. Last week, my friend T and I found ourselves at one of the newer and pricier ones in the city. Nevertheless it was a spa moment to remember.

Terra Wellness Spa (638-9145 to 46 or 638-2977) is located on the 4th floor of Discovery Suites at the Ortigas Center on ADB Avenue. Terra, a Latin word for earth, offers seven elegant treatment rooms that offer total privacy for couples or individuals. All luxurious treatment rooms have individual shower and bathroom facilities. After spending time with the Good Shepherd nuns, cleansing our souls, my friend T and I thought it was time to pamper our weary bodies and mid-lifing spirits. So off we went to Terra...

Stepping into the serene confines of Terra alone is enough to make your stress levels drop instantly. Plush and comfortable seats await you in a zen-like waiting area where you are served a cup of tea while you browse through the spa menu offered by a very knowledgeable and polite attendant. I decided to go for the Terra's Touch, their signature treatment which is a 90-minute variation of the Swedish massage. After having done that, I was asked to pick what kind of music I wanted to listen to (a first!) - classical, jazz, celtic, pop (yes...), movie adagios, new age etc... and because the Oscars were coming up that week, I opted to go for the film soundtracks.


Reception area at Terra

I was then introduced to my therapist who asked me what kind of organic massage oil I wanted to use - calming, revitalizing or oriental. Because I was headed for a basketball game that evening, I opted for the revitalizing oil lest I crash on the seats of Araneta Coliseum which would have been terribly embarrassing for me. We moved to a corner of the reception area where the therapist blends your oil from a "bar" and lets you check if she was able customize it according to your desire. Having done that, I was lead to a chair in quiet corner where I was asked to slip off my shoes. The act of removing the shoes before entering the spa area itself is a practice commonly done in high-end spas in Thailand but rarely done here. Slipping into oh-so-soft and white terry slippers, I was ushered into the main "sanctuary" where not a sound could be heard and the ambiance was pure heaven.

My therapist then brought me to my very own private room where I was given adequate time to shower and slip into an equally soft and plushy robe. The toiletries in the bath are first rate, not your standard issue spa shampoo or soap. You can tell because your skin feels like a baby after your done with your shower.

Bathing ritual done, my therapist quietly slipped into the room to begin the spa ritual. Terra's treatments were customized by Kate Fernandez Moynihan and the unique feature of the Terra's Touch treatment is that they ask the client to lie down face up first. Most other spas will have you lie on your back and then half-way off to dreamland, you are asked to turn over - which kind of disrupts the relaxation mode. Over at Terra, it's sheer pleasure and relaxation from start to finish. I must say that it was one of the best massage treatments I'd had in a long while. And there's no stretching here to contend with (which I actually hate...) after the treatment is done. When the therapist was done with me, I could hardly get up and if I didn't have a ballgame to run off to, I would have slipped into a deep, deep slumber right then and there.

Slip into bliss in the couple's room

Everything at Terra is world-class - from the service, to the oils, to the fixtures, the linen, the facilities and most of all the treatments. The therapists carry a light and positive aura about them which to me is very important because after all when they touch your body, their energy gets transferred to yours. I've had treatments in teh past where I ended up with a migraine or an even more painful back all because the therapist seemed to have a "heaviness" about her - and I don't mean the weight.

If body treatments aren't your thing, Terra also offers Ingham Foot reflexology which is a 75 minute treatment or the Traditional Thai Foot Massage which runs for 60 minutes. Instead of a private room, you slip into one of their "pods" and lose your aches while a skilled therapist massages your feet and your worries away.

061 P_DISCOVERY FITNESS & SPA_07 Like a princess in a pod...

Terra is one of the best new wellness places to arrive in the Ortigas business district. For the executive or the lady of leisure who wants to indulge in an afternoon or evening of world-class pampering, this is definitely the place to go. A piece of heaven on luxurious, solid ground :)

Terra's price points : 800 - 2,200 pesos for reflexology or body massage

Rating : ***** (facilities, therapist, ambiance, cleanliness, spa products)

Legend :

** so-so *** good **** very good ***** excellent


fruityoaty said...

Hmmm, definitely worth a visit, when I go to the Philippines in a few months (for the first time since moving to Canada).

Linnor said...

Our Ortigas office is very near that spa, I should pay a visit when I get the chance. :D